Two truck drivers who died when a truck they were hauling crashed into a tree on a rural road in northern Minnesota were Amazon employees, a family spokesman said.
“This is a terrible tragedy for all of us,” said Mike Siegel, who leads the family’s operations at a tractor trailer company.
“We just want Amazon to know that this is the Amazon family.”
The two drivers died in the crash.
It happened Sunday morning at the intersection of a rural stretch of the Blue Mountain Road and the Blue River Road.
The drivers were hauls to a remote logging area where they were loading lumber for a nearby trailer park.
The truck driver, Brian Pritchard, was driving.
The other driver, Paul Hickey, was the passenger in the truck.
Both died at the scene, Siegel said.
The Blue Mountain and Blue River Roads, about 75 miles south of Minneapolis, were closed Monday morning.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation said the driver of the truck that hit the tree was not wearing a seat belt and had no medical attention.
It said the highway was closed for a day.
It was unclear if there was any damage to the tree.
Siegel declined to elaborate on the cause of the crash or the cause or nature of the injuries.
He said the truck driver had been a passenger in other trucks before and worked at Amazon.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a statement, Amazon said it was saddened by the loss of its drivers.
“As a result of the accident, our driver and the passenger of the vehicle in question were taken to the hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.
We are cooperating with authorities and will provide any information that they request.
The safety of our customers is our top priority and we are deeply saddened by this tragic incident,” the company said.
Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, has been fighting an effort by a local county to require it to build a new highway.
It has said it wants to move to a privately funded project to reduce congestion and improve highway safety.
The proposal has been under review by the state.
“Amazon is committed to working with state, local and federal partners to ensure a safe and reliable transportation network for all,” Amazon said in a statement.
“At this time, it is not clear whether the proposed highway expansion will meet the state’s safety standards.”
The county, which owns about 5.7 million acres in the area, is trying to build the $50 million project, a project that would include a toll road, an express lane and a light rail.
Amazon has said that it will not pay for any tolls that might be levied.